According to all national papers, the Defense Ministry announced yesterday its decision not to go ahead with a plan to equip ASDF F-15s with U.S.-made air-to-ship missiles for cost reasons. In upgrading the fighter jets to enhance their island defense capabilities, the ministry had hoped to mount LRASM standoff missiles on the aircraft at a cost of 324 billion yen ($2.95 billion). However, the U.S. side had presented a much higher cost estimate for the refurbishment and the missiles of about 552 billion yen ($5.03 billion). While the U.S. side reportedly agreed in the end to lower the estimate to some 398 billion ($3.63 billion) in response to Japan’s lobbying, the reduction was not enough for Tokyo to move ahead with the planned procurement of the U.S. missiles. Although the ministry will move ahead with the fighter jet upgrade in and of itself, it is likely to develop domestic standoff missiles in lieu of introducing the U.S. model.